January 9 , 1889: Duluth’s C. H. Graves named Minnesota Speaker of the House of Representatives

On this day in 1889, Duluth’s Charles Hinman Graves was named as the speaker of Minnesota’s House of Representatives. Graves was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1839, and rose to the rank of Colonel fighting with the 40th New York Volunteers During the Civil War. He participated in many battles, including Bull Run, Williamsburg, Fredericksburg, and Gettysburgh, where he was severely wounded. He first came to Duluth in 1869 and established C. H. Graves and Company—dealers in salt, lime, cement, grain, and insurance—in a two-story wood-frame building he constructed at 108 West Superior Street. Graves was also a founder of Duluth’s Board of Trade and the Kitchi Gammi Club, the first director of St. Luke’s Hospital, and a prominent Mason who served as Grand Master of Duluth’s Palestine Lodge #73 when the masons opened their new home in the Temple Opera Block. He first served in the Minnesota State Legislature as a senator from 1873 to 1876 and as mayor of Duluth in 1882 and when his successor J. B. Culver (also Duluth’s first mayor) died in office, Graves was selected to finish out his term.  Following his tenure as speaker of the house (1889–1890) Graves became U. S. Minister to the Court of Sweden under Teddy Roosevelt in 1905. He served in that position until 1914, and along the way also briefly served as minister to Norway (1905–1906). Grave’s first wife Grace Totten, whom he married in 1873, died in 1902. In 1905 the 66-year-old Graves married 33-year-old Alice Kinney. In retirement Charles and Alice Graves lived in Santa Barbara, California, where he died October 7, 1928. He was 89 years old. Read more about Graves here.

C. H. Grave. (Image: Duluth Public Library)